Another Smelly Rub-down: Coyote behavior

I watched this coyote for two full hours! First it hunted. Then it watched human activity — specifically the sawing of an old fallen Eucalyptus branch, which was then pulled with ropes to form the edge of a path.  There was some wandering, including on a street. There was keeping hidden from two dogs — the coyote spotted them down the path, but they did not see the coyote at all, and neither did their owner. The coyote evaded detection by quickly climbing up a hill and standing very still behind some sparse ground growth — this worked because the coyote’s coat is a wonderful camouflage, especially when the coyote stands absolutely still. The coyote kept its eyes on the dogs: studying what they were doing, discerning their intent, assessing their energy level: basically evaluating the level of danger to itself. The dogs discovered the coyote scent, maybe because of some scat that had just been deposited, but they kept to the path.

THEN, maybe because the coyote knew it had been flagged by its scent, it was drawn to a place which I later discovered was very smelly. And the coyote lowered itself, shoulders first and gave itself a smelly rub-down with whatever was on the ground. It lay on its back and wiggled around, and slid down the hill. It got up twice during this rub-down session, and repeated the rub-down three times. Then it got up again and walked off.

I went over to find out what the smelly substance was which had been so pleasant to wallow in. There definitely was a very strong smell of poop, but I could not see anything in the immediate rub-down spot. Maybe it was something like urine which I could not see?

See more wallowing postings: on a lizard: A “Perfume Bath”: coyote behavior of October 29, 2009; on a snake: A Snake Is Found: Coyote behavior of March 6, 2010.

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